Admission Requirements

Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy

Department of Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy

Application Checklist 

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application
  • One official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities attended, including community colleges. Foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES).
  • One official score report with the results of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • A minimum of two professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • A current resumé or curriculum vita
  • A 500-word statement of purpose. Please include a brief narrative describing yourself, your career goals and the importance of graduate study in marriage and family therapy at this point in your life. You may discuss influences on your intellectual development, educational and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) which have been available to you, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you. This should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application; it should give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are and why you are applying to the marriage and family therapy program at the University of San Diego. If you are in a graduate program at another university, please explain why you wish to leave.
  • International applicants only: Official score reports for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Admission Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

  • Applicants must provide scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Scores must be less than five years old.
  • The minimum GRE or MAT score is an overall score in the 50th percentile or above on each section.
  • The University of San Diego’s Institution Code numbers are 4849 (GRE) and 1972 (MAT). This number must be included on test registration forms in order to have the official results sent to the university. Standardized testing must be completed well in advance of the deadline as it typically takes about 2 weeks for the score reports to arrive after a request is made.
  • For more information on preparing for the GRE, visit USD's Test Prep or call (619) 260-4579.

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
  • The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • Three pre-requisite courses are required by the program: (1) Human or Life Span Development, (2) Counseling or Personality Theories, and (3) Research Methods. Students who have not taken these courses in their undergraduate studies can complete these requirements by taking a course prior to beginning the program or during their first semester at USD, either through an online program or in a traditional classroom setting. View detailed information on pre-requisite courses.

Experience Requirements

Experience in a related field is recommended, but not required for admission.

Interview Requirements

After an initial review of applications to the Marital and Family Therapy program, the most qualified candidates will be invited to USD for a group interview with the MFT faculty. Applicants who live outside California and surrounding states (Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, or Nevada) will have the option of participating in a phone interview. However, out-of-state applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the on-campus group interview, if possible.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants and may only be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.

  • TOEFL minimum scores:
    • Internet-based test: 83
    • Computer-based test: 237
    • Paper-based test: 580
  • IELTS minimum score:
    • Band score 7

Application Process

Application Deadline

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant log-in or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 149

Phone: (619) 260-7988